This weekend is Tockwith Show (Sunday 4th August from 8am) and when I first started with the allotment one of my best mates who happens to be on the committee for Tockwith Show persuaded me to enter the horticultural classes. I was really excited as I love my allotment and think that everything I grow is so lovely, but oh boy as the time drew near I suddenly realised how stressful it could be. One thing I didn’t really think about was timing, you see when I pick my produce it is perfect, just the right size and perfectly formed. The thing is I pick it at the right time whereas for the show everything has to be perfect on Sunday 4th August and that’s not how it works. I remember the stress that morning as I patrolled my allotment picking the vegetables for every category I had entered. The cauliflower that had probably just gone too far and was a little brown on some of the florets, the green beans that were too small and I couldn’t find the right amount that were all the same size and shape, but all was not lost. I found three of the most perfect courgettes, with flowers still attached at the end. They were almost identical to each other, surely these were the winning ones! Oh imagine the shame and embarrassment when I was disqualified. As they say always read the small print, apparently my courgettes were too big and therefore did not meet the show standard. Needless to say I made the decision not to enter any more competitions but every year I still can’t resist thinking about what could have been. I picked a good washing up bowl full of broad beans for freezing last weekend and sat in the sunshine podding them all for the freezer. As I worked my way through I pulled out those that were show standard and of the 100s of pods I found the six in the picture that if they had been just right on 4th August I am sure would have stole the show!